Blog Tour: “Ash” by Shani Petroff & Darci Manley

Today I’m happy to host this blog tour of a book which I had already talked about during a Cover Lovers. This is the first novel of a dystopian series coming out March 17th and it is co-written by Shani Petroff and Darci Manley.

I would like to thank The Fantastic Flying Book Club, the authors and the Polis Books for including me in the blog tour.

Oggi sono felice di ospitare questo blog tour di un libro di cui avevo già parlato durante un Cover Lovers. Si tratta del primo romanzo di una serie distopica che esce il 17 Marzo ed è scritto a quattro mani da Shani Petroff e Darci Manley.

Ringrazio The Fantastic Flying Book Club, le autrici e la Polis Books per avermi inclusa nel blog tour.

Title: Ash
(Destined #1)
Author: Shani Petroff, Darci Manley
Publisher: Polis Books
Release Date: March 17th 2015
Language: English
Genre: YA, Dystopia.“Destiny is pre-determined. It is strictly monitored. It is unchangeable.
Or is it?

Madden’s life is a whirlwind of privilege and perks. Born into the elite Purple ring, she is fated to be a Minister of the Seven. Although her position comes with the burden of great responsibility, she’s nothing if not confident in her future. After all, Destiny Specialists have determined how she will fulfill her life’s purpose, and they are never wrong.

Her classmate Dax, an Ash, is clinging to the opposite end of the spectrum. While everyone around her knows what destiny awaits them, Dax’s fate is…missing. Isolated and ignored, she refuses to let her lack of status define her.

After a stunning twist of fate, Dax and Madden’s paths intertwine in ways neither could have possibly imagined. The two are forced to question their own past, present and future as they realize who they are is not necessarily who they were meant to be.

Ash is an unforgettable journey into an alternate future which will leave readers wondering just how much we can control our own fate. Destiny is calling. Will you fight for yours?”

In Italiano

Il destino è predeterminato. È strettamente monitorato. È immutabile.

Ma lo è davvero?

La vita di Madden è una girandola di privilegi e vantaggi. Nata nell’elite della cerchia Viola, è destinata a diventare un Ministro dei Sette. Sebbene la sua posizione arriva con un fardello di grandi responsabilità, non è per niente preoccupata se non fiduciosa nel suo futuro. Dopotutto, gli Specialisti del Destino hanno determinato come riuscirà a svolgere lo scopo della sua vita, e loro non sbagliano mai.

La sua compagna di classe Dax, una Ash, si trova all’estremità opposta dello spettro. Mentre tutti intorno a lei sanno quale destino li aspetta, il destino di Dax è… disperso. Isolata e ignorata, rifiuta di lasciare che sia la sua mancanza di uno status a definirla.

Dopo un incredibile scherzo del destino, le strade di Dax e Madden si intrecciano in modi che nessuna delle due poteva immaginare. Le due sono costrette a mettere in discussione il proprio passato, presente e futuro nel momento in cui si rendono conto che non sono necessariamente chi avrebbero dovuto essere.

ASH, il primo libro della serie Destined, è un indimenticabile viaggio in un futuro alternativo che porterà i lettori a chiedersi quanto davvero possiamo controllare il nostro destino.

Il destino sta chiamando. Combatterete per il vostro?

 

 

“Would you rather go back to the old days when people were at war, or starving, or killing each other for one petty thing after another.”

Link shook his head. “You say that, Madden, but you have all those petty little things. Like a home, food, clothing.”

“Exactly. Everyone has those things now. Everyone is provided for.”

“It’s not the same. We place someone into a lower ring, and the never have a chance. They’re forced into a certain kind of job, a certain kind of lifestyle, and their children follow, the their children’s children. It’s an endless cycle.” […] “Don’t you see? The whole system is a broken cycle. And I’m responsible for it. I’ve extracted hundreds of destinies, and most of those kids I’ve had to place into Ash or Slate.”

In a world where the destiny of a person is determined at birth there are only two possibilities: to follow what the system and fate want for you or rebel, signing your own death sentence.

In this alternate universe, in which every action has been established years before it happens, live Dax Harris and Madden Sumner, two girls who are on opposite sides of the system, but they will soon find tied by circumstances.

After all, I was one of the .001% in our society that was born a Blank – someone who had no destiny to harvest at birth, no purpose, no future. I was used to people ripping on my status; even most Ashes didn’t want to be associated with me.

Dax knows she was not meant to give help to the society: being a Blank, her fate is empty, missing, and she is the last rung of the social ladder. But, compared to other Blank, she has a family to rely on, and so many people who care about her, despite her status.

Her life is turned upside down when in the Day of Destiny of his older brother Aldan everything, that was predestined, does not happen and Dax finds herself having to seek allies to save her family and discover the mysteries that lie behind a mysterious death.

“You’ll be the youngest minister in history,” he said. He didn’t have to say the next part. It was implied. Being the youngest meant that everyone would be watching – closely.

On the other side there is Madden, meant to be a Minister of Seven and reach the highest levels of the social ladder. Confident, knows that her fate is tied closely to her conduct from perfect Purple. Unlike Dax, her family includes only her father, who oversees her every move, but she has from her side the sweet Nora who knows her better than anyone.

Madden also will soon intertwine her existence with that of Dax, mainly because of the bond that she has with the brother of the Blank. And by helping the girl, find that their fates are crossed from well before their own birth.

I liked both as narrators and I must say that compared to other books with more POV this is one of the most balanced.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters and their relationships with the protagonists: Sol and links are definitely my favorites.

“Stories from the Event had been hammered into my head for as long as I could remember. About forty years ago, one person’s failed destiny wiped out most of the world. Billions died. The stories and footage were terrifying. I knew the color system helped monitor the entire destiny matrix to keep us safe, but hearing the upper rings make fun of my standing still made me want to hit something.

Society behind “Ash” is divided into seven rings of a different color according to the usefulness of the population: those that are lower are in Ash (and below them the Blank), then, in order, Slate, Brown, Yellow, Green, Crimson, Purple. The division in color maybe is not too original, but it certainly is effective in a dystopian novel like this. The attention to this element of the world building is certainly remarkable and also the division of the city into real areas is well designed.

I enjoyed a little less the hints of the Event – this mysterious event that brought the color system – because I would have preferred seeing them more depth. It remains too mysterious for my taste, leaving perhaps predict that in future books it will be discussed more. However, I would like to know a little more since this book.

I loved the idea of predetermined destiny impossible to miss. I have always been fascinated by the thought that everything, even the smaller events, is connected in some way and that it is up to each one a different task and in this novel these thoughts were brought to the extreme consequences of a life without free will. I wondered throughout the novel how would be like to be in the place of the protagonists and maybe know what is my destiny. Certainly, I would never want to be in the shoes of the poor Sol!

The extraction process of destiny is very charming and has left me, especially in the shocking end, with many questions still unanswered.

“Ash” is a well written dystopia that will lead you to wonder about what is the true power of destiny and how important it is free will.

Rating:

“Would you rather go back to the old days when people were at war, or starving, or killing each other for one petty thing after another.”

Link shook his head. “You say that, Madden, but you have all those petty little things. Like a home, food, clothing.”

“Exactly. Everyone has those things now. Everyone is provided for.”

“It’s not the same. We place someone into a lower ring, and the never have a chance. They’re forced into a certain kind of job, a certain kind of lifestyle, and their children follow, the their children’s children. It’s an endless cycle.” […] “Don’t you see? The whole system is a broken cycle. And I’m responsible for it. I’ve extracted hundreds of destinies, and most of those kids I’ve had to place into Ash or Slate.”

In un mondo in cui il destino di una persona è determinato alla sua nascita ci sono solo due possibilità: seguire ciò che il sistema e il fato vuole per te o ribellarsi, firmando la propria condanna a morte.

In questo universo alternativo in cui ogni azione è stata stabilita anni prima di avvenire vivono Dax Harris e Madden Sumner, due ragazze che si trovano ai lati opposti della società, ma che si scopriranno presto legate dalle circostanze.

After all, I was one of the .001% in our society that was born a Blank – someone who had no destiny to harvest at birth, no purpose, no future. I was used to people ripping on my status; even most Ashes didn’t want to be associated with me.

Dax sa perfettamente di non essere destinata a dare un aiuto alla società: essendo una Blank, il suo destino è vuoto, mancante e si trova nell’ultimo gradino della scala sociale. Ma, rispetto ad altri Blank, ha una famiglia su cui contare e tante persone che tengono a lei, nonostante il suo status.

La sua vita viene sconvolta quando nel Giorno del Destino del suo fratello maggiore Aldan tutto ciò che era predestinato non accade e Dax si ritrova a dover cercare degli alleati per salvare la sua famiglia e scoprire i misteri che si celano dietro una misteriosa morte.

“You’ll be the youngest minister in history,” he said. He didn’t have to say the next part. It was implied. Being the youngest meant that everyone would be watching – closely.

Dall’altra parte c’è Madden, destinata ad essere un Ministro dei Sette e raggiungere i gradi più alti della scala sociale. Sicura di sé, sa bene che il suo destino è legato strettamente alla sua condotta da perfetta Purple. A differenza di Dax la sua famiglia include solo il padre, che sorveglia ogni sua mossa, ma ha dalla sua la dolce Nora che la conosce meglio di chiunque altro.

Anche Madden si ritroverà presto ad intrecciare la sua esistenza con quella di Dax, soprattutto per via del legame che ha con Link, il fratello della Blank. E, aiutando la ragazza, scoprirà che i loro destini sono incrociati da ben prima della loro stessa nascita.

Mi sono piaciute entrambe come narratrici e devo dire che rispetto ad altri libri con più POV questo è uno di quelli più equilibrati.

Inoltre ho apprezzato molto i personaggi secondari e le loro relazioni con le protagoniste: Sol e Link sono decisamente i miei preferiti.

“Stories from the Event had been hammered into my head for as long as I could remember. About forty years ago, one person’s failed destiny wiped out most of the world. Billions died. The stories and footage were terrifying. I knew the color system helped monitor the entire destiny matrix to keep us safe, but hearing the upper rings make fun of my standing still made me want to hit something.

La società alla base di “Ash” è divisa in sette rings, cerchi, di colore diverso in base all’utilità della popolazione: quelli che stanno più in basso sono in Ash (e sotto di loro i Blank), poi, in ordine, Slate, Brown, Yellow, Green, Crimson, Purple. La divisione in colori forse non è troppo originale, ma di certo è efficace all’interno di un romanzo distopico come questo. L’attenzione per questo elemento del world building è certamente notevole e anche la divisione della città in vere e proprie zone è ben progettata.

Ho apprezzato un po’ meno gli accenni all’Evento – questo misterioso avvenimento che ha portato il sistema dei colori – perché avrei preferito di più vederli approfonditi. Rimane sempre troppo misterioso per i miei gusti, lasciando forse presagire che nei prossimi libri se ne discuterà di più. Però, mi sarebbe piaciuto sapere qualcosa in più già da questo libro.

L’idea del destino predeterminato e impossibile da mancare mi è piaciuta molto. Mi ha sempre affascinata il pensiero che tutto, anche gli avvenimenti più piccoli, sia collegato in qualche modo e che ad ognuno spetta un compito diverso e in questo romanzo questi miei pensieri sono stati portati fino alle estreme conseguenze di una vita senza libero arbitrio. Mi sono domandata per tutto il romanzo come sarebbe stato essere al posto delle protagoniste e sapere magari quale è il proprio destino. Di certo, non vorrei essere mai nei panni del povero Sol!

Anche il processo di estrazione del destino è molto affascinante e mi ha lasciata, soprattutto nel finale sconvolgente, con tante domande ancora senza risposta.

“Ash” è una distopia ben scritta che vi porterà a domandarvi su quale sia il vero potere del destino e su quanto sia importante il libero arbitrio.

Voto:

 

“Petroff and Manley have created a world where fate is terrifyingly unpredictable when entrusted to the wrong hands. Addictive and fast-paced, ASH will pull readers along for the ride and leave them anxious for the next installment.”
-JOELLE CHARBONNEAU, New York Times bestselling author of THE TESTING trilogy
“ASH is a breakneck thriller filled with action and romance. Destined for bestseller lists, it’s perfect for fans of Divergent and The Hunger Games.”
-MICHELLE GAGNON, author of the PERSEFONE trilogy
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Follow the ASH: A Destined Novel by Shani Petroff & Darci Manley Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.
Petroff and Manley live in New York City. They were destined to write a book series together.

 

Shani Petroff is the author of the Bedeviled series, which includes Daddy’s Little Angel, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Dress, Careful What You Wish For, and Love Struck. She also writes for television news programs and several other venues. You can reach her at ShaniPetroff.com or on twitter: @shanipetroff.

 

Darci Manley works as a creative director, writing and designing for a NYC advertising agency. She is also the author of A Defender’s Tale, a personalized, interactive Choose Your Own Adventure tale for the iPad. You can reach her at DarciManley.com or on twitter: @darcimanley.
Win (1) of (2) finished copies of ASH: A Destined Novel by Shani Petroff & Darci Manley (US Only)

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